March 11, 2014

God’s promise

By Becky Horst, associate registrar/convo coordinator
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 12:1-4a (NRSV)
DEVOTIONAL:

Today’s scripture marks the very beginning of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Abram encounters God and is challenged to leave behind all that is familiar. God asks Abram to trust that he will be led to a new land. As a reward for his trust, he will receive a blessing. The literal meaning of the Hebrew word used here for “bless” is “to kneel down.” Its extended meaning is “to give something of value to another.”

Some Christians equate blessings with wealth. A “prosperity gospel” website announces, “God’s desire is for His children to be rich… not just in spiritual blessings but in material blessings as well.”

Abram does become a rich man, but God’s promise to him does not focus on material wealth. God wants Abram to be a blessing to “all the families of the world.” The goal of faith is not a comfortable family dynasty. The goal of faith is for God’s blessings to flow through the trusting ones out into the world. What might those blessings be? Money and material goods? Yes. Healing, hope and hospitality? Of course.

But the most precious blessing anyone can receive or give is always love—the kind of love that kneels down before another and offers something of value with open hands.

Bryan Moyer Suderman, founder of Small Tall Music, writes catchy tunes with important messages. His lyrics to “The Blessing Song” echo the promise of God to Abram in Genesis 12:

I will bless you, I will bless you, I will bless you so that you will be a blessing too.
Go to the land that I will show you. I will bless you.
Through your family, I will bless all the families of the earth.
It’s not for you to keep for yourselves.
It’s not because you’re better than someone else.
It’s not because I love you more than any others.
I want your help to share my love with everyone.
I will bless you, I will bless you, I will bless you so that you will be a blessing too.

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 12:1-4a (NRSV)

The Call of Abram

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he departed from Haran.

 

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Comments (6)

  1. Becky, thank you for your emphasis on blessing, that we might be a blessing.

    Ruth March 11, 2014 |
  2. Thanks!

    Norm Morford March 11, 2014 |
  3. Ms Becky thank you for your post. Your exposition is heart touching. I am spiritually edified to know the way God established His relationship with Abraham. It is captivating. Being a blessing is humility in this dark world. Thank you so much.

    ezra naveen March 11, 2014 |
  4. Thanks, Becky, for your timely affirmation of the most precious blessing: love. Wilma

    Wilma Shank March 11, 2014 |
  5. Thanks, Becky, for your timely affirmation of the most precious blessing: love. Wilma

    Wilma Shank March 11, 2014 |
  6. Thank you Thank you thank you

    Ann March 11, 2014 |